A private Christian school in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, is under fire after asking fourth-graders to lay out three “good” reasons for slavery as part of a homework assignment.
On Monday, the students at Our Redeemer Lutheran School were handed a social studies worksheet that told them to “give 3 ‘good’ reasons for slavery and 3 bad reasons.”
Trameka Brown-Berry, who has a 9-year-old son in the class, told Fox 6 that she was in “shock” over the “highly offensive and insensitive” assignment.
“I couldn’t believe they sent something like that home,” Brown-Berry said. “Not only was my son in an awful position, but the students who weren’t black ― that’s what keeps racism going.”
She posted a photo of the homework on Facebook.
“I feel there is no good reason for slavery that’s why I did not write,” her son answered, as shown in the post.
Principal Jim Van Dellen sent a letter to parents with an apology and said that the teacher didn’t properly describe the task to students, according to the station WISN.
“We understand that, as presented, the words used showed a lack of sensitivity and were offensive,” Van Dellen wrote. “The purpose of the assignment was not, in any way, to have students argue that ANY slavery is acceptable ― a concept that goes against our core values and beliefs about the equality and worth of people of all races.”
The assignment was intended to spark debate in the class, he told Fox 6, adding that it has been pulled from the curriculum.
Brown-Berry shared an update on Facebook stating that she met with the principal and that he agreed to mandate “cultural diversity/cultural competency inservice [training for faculty] to prevent this from happening again.”
Our Redeemer Lutheran School did not immediately respond to a request for comment.